Heist review by Matt FuerstI think I was about 16 or 17 when I decided that I wanted my career to be in computers. I was pretty good working on them, a quick study if you will, and studied with my focus in that direction. Several jobs and internships, a couple years of college later and I am gainfully employed in my profession of choice. Around the same time, I decided that my second career would be as a safecracker & jewel thief. Like my day job, I have been studying as much as I can to prepare for my next endeavor. Of course, the public library doesn't have books such as "Safecracking for Dummies" or "24 Capers in 24 Hours" (I looked) so I am stuck with whatever filmmakers decide to show me in film. When David Mamet released Heist onto the world I was pretty excited. Mamet, a master of dialogue. Hackman, whom one Jackass called the best living actor. Hell we've even got Delroy Lindo and Danny DeVito kicking up a fuss. It sounded like a winner.
- Joe Moore: She can talk her way out of a sunburn.
Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) is a professional thief (I'm so jealous). Using a well placed plant at a restaurant (his wife Fran), he manages to get the inside track on a jewelry store. Joe and the members of his crew, Don 'Pinky' Pincus (Ricky jay) and Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo) enter the jewelry store. However all doesn't go to plan and Joe gets "burnt". His face is exposed on camera and he knows his number is up. Time to leave town, give up the business. He just needs the money from this score and then he's heading south, Fran in hand.
Did I mention this is a David Mamet film, so of course there are twists along the way. Bergman (Danny DeVito), the fence for the stolen goods, screws Joe out of the money for the job, but promises him an unbelievable amount of money for one last job - "The Swiss Thing". Joe knows damn well that Bergman has screwed him over once and will screw him over again, but doesn't have any good options in front of him. He's burnt, he's got no cash, and he's ready to get lost somewhere in the Caribbean. Time for the cliched and completely appropriate one last job. Joe meets again with Bergman and makes the arrangements. Joe gets a portion of the money from the previous job in exchange for Bergman planting his guy, Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell) in Joe's crew.
- Angry Hitman: Where is the gold?
Pinky: You can understand my reluctance to tell you.
- Jimmy Silk: So, this Joe, is he cool?
Pinky: My motherf***er is so cool, when he goes to bed, sheep count him.
- Joe Moore: He ain't going to shoot me?
Fran: No, he ain't going to shoot you.
Joe Moore: Then he hadn't oughta point a gun at me, it's insincere.
I'm ready to come clean as well during this review. I'm tired of holding this one in. I think Delroy Lindo is a great actor. While he hasn't achieved leading man status in major releases, everything he is in I seem to greatly enjoy his contributions. Delroy and Turkish from Snatch in The One were, without a doubt, the highlight of that movie. In this flick Mr. Lindo plays Bobby Blane, and he really delivers the goods. We learn through dialogue that Bobby has been in the can at least once, and isn't about to go back. While being part of Joe's crew, he contributes equally with Joe to the plan. They know each other well and can read off each others queues naturally in handling any situation. *SLIGHT SPOILER* There is a scene where the crew is trying to ditch Jimmy Silk, and they pretend to break up and not do "The Swiss Thing". There is this sense to the audience that something is odd about Bobby's mannerisms, he is almost overacting, much like a thief probably really would do in real life in the same situation, really trying to sell the break up to Jimmy Silk. *END SPOILERS* It's really quite well done.
- Bergman: This other thing, the Swiss thing, if I was a publisher I'd publish the plans.
Bobby Blane: Then why don't you publish the plans?
Bergman: Yeah, no, I said that's what I would do if I was a publisher. Unfortunately, I'm a thief so I have to do that thing.
Of course, with David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Spanish Prisoner) you do enter into his world. Earth as it exists in a Mamet film is a place where everyone has trim and witty dialogue prepare at all times. It sounds prepared, it is prepared, and doesn't make excuses for that. You have to relax yourself and enjoy it and not get caught up in the, at times, the perfect delivery of the perfect line at the perfect time. There aren't any stutterers in David Mamet's world. But that's OK, but we are really caught up in the world of mystery and intrigue. As I mentioned previously, there is a bit of an action sequence near the end of Heist, and guess what? It's a slow moving sequence. Gene Hackman (tries to) run, Delroy Lindo limps and gets hurt. It isn't glamorous. Doves don't fly in the air. Hackman wastes a whole clip shooting at the side of a shipping box. But it's true. It's probably one of the truest gunfights you will see on film.
So up until this point I have kept my feelings on the film to a minimum, so if you've read this far I imagine you want to know if I think you should spend two hours of your life watching it. The answer is a resounding yes. You'll be entertained with the characters, the settings, and the capers. I wish the disc could have provided some more extras, but I picked mine up for $6 (I've got a super secret deal with Blockbuster, don't tell anyone) and it was well worth it.
7 out of 10 Jackasses blog comments powered by Disqus
IMDB Link: Heist
DVD Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
DVD Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Cast Filmography
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Interested in writing for Jackass Critics? E-mail Matt